tv [untitled] February 12, 2012 11:30pm-12:00am EST
the election that i heard is i don't know if it's mythology for fact, that on election day 1960 did richard nixon, in fact, take a trip to tijuana? and on the way backstop at mission san juan capistrano to be the only candidate that set foot in the catholic church on election day 1960. is there truth to that? >> it is true that on election day richard nixon became the first maybe only candidate to run for president to leave the united states on election day. by having lunch in tijuana. and there may have been some political calculation in this, although the fact is that the election was all but over -- remember, we didn't have cable news in those days, so there's not a lot of news reporting -- in fact, it wasn't known he was in tijuana because he had managed to escape the press was the whole point.
he was trying to get away from the media and went to tijuana because nobody would recognize him in a significant enough way that he could manage to have a quiet lunch. he did stop off at san juan. i don't know that he actually went into the church. he stopped off i believe on the way down. he also stopped off at camp pendleton and there were a couple marine corps guys throwing a football by the side of the road. this is all long before the kind of population that exists in southern california today, so things were much more -- the roads were different. so anyway he tossed a couple footballs with these guys in the marine corps. but, yeah, i often wondered was it an attempt to get the hispanic votes in southern california to have it known you went to mexico on election day? >> didn't he write that he said -- >> he liked mexican food bp. >> he went with an aide who was
catholic and he said you're my favorite catholic and this is my favorite catholic place. >> that's one version. there are different versions. >> however he did find when he got to fee wanijuana is whole b reporters doing other things other than having lunch. >> please nobody here go to tijuana. stay around. we're going to end this final panel. let's give our panelists a hand. [ applause ] you're watching american history tv. 48 hours of people and events that help document the american story. all weekend every weekend on c-span3. a generation before president john f. kennedy acting on behalf of a grateful nation designated him an honorary american citizen, winston churchill paid his own heartfelt tribute to his transatlantic origins. appearing before a joint session of congress on the day after
christmas 1941, he puckishly observed i cannot help reflecting that if my father had been american and my mother british, instead of the other way around, i might have got here on my own. today outside the british embassy on massachusetts avenue churchill literally bestrides two nations. with one bronze foot planted on british soil and the other on american. this pleased the old man himself no end. of the statue announced on his 89th birthday, the honorary american said, i feel it will rest happily and securely on both feet. controversy akrros over the sculptor's depiction not because of his stance, no. it was another churchill icon, the cigar in his left hand that offended some members of the english-speaking union.
the organization responsible for the sculpture. in the end authenticity and the cigar won out. inveiled a year after churchill's death in 1965, the figure seems even larger than its nine foot dementions would indicate. almost half a century on, winston churchill still manages to dominate his surroundings. >> by the way, i cannot help for reflecting if my father had been american and my mother british, instead of the other way around, you might have got here on my own. each week american history tv sits in on a lecture with one of the nation's college professors. you can watch the classes here every saturday at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern and sundays at 1:00 p.m. old dominion university
professor timothy orr teaches a course on the civil war and reconstruction. in this lecture he discusses how union and confederate forces handled prisoners of war and he takes a look at the conditions inside some civil war prison camps. old dominion university is located in norfolk, virginia. this class is about an hour and 20 minutes. >> all right. good morning everyone, and welcome. to those who are joining us on c-span, i'd like to introduce myself. i'm dr. timothy j. orr. i'm a professor of history here at old dominion university in norfolk, virginia. you are joining history 351, the history of the civil war and reconstruction. we've been going all semester talking about all things related to the coming of the civil war, the way it was fought, and we'll be finishing up in a few weeks with how it ended and its legacy. so today we'll be talking about a rather depressing subject but nevertheless an important one. the story of the prisoners of war. and i'd like to begin by kind of
offering kind of two expressions in latin. use in bello and use ad bellum. does anyone here know what they mean? yeah, it's kind of a tough language to decipher. use in bello means justice in war and use add bellum mean justice of war. if you try to consider the philosophies of just war theory, there are two things you want to examine. is the war fought for quote, unquote, just purposes? and is it fought with quote, unquote, just methods? and you can examine any american conflict this way. you can sort of mix and match the two ideas. you can fight a just war with unjust methods. and you can fight an unjust war with just methods. in the case of the american civil war, we certainly don't need to consider the question of the justice of war because both sides believed if they were fighting for a just cause. but the question we're looking at today is that first one.
use in bello, justice in war. did that -- this war show justice in terms of the way both sides treated each other's prisoners? and i would say both sides had the advantage of having -- of understanding the conventions of war, the respectability, the respect that needed to be shown both sides because prior to the war, they were all one and the same nation with the same matched history. many of them with the same religion. many of them with the same sort of social conventions and ideas about how conflict should proceed. but during the course of the war, we're going to see that questions will arise about the ethical treatment of prisoners. ones that will -- questions that will defy the conventions that both sides had prior to going into the war. so as we examine this question, we can think about it in terms of just war theory. was justice committed to these prisoners? and what ways should justice have been upheld? now, to understand the prisoner
of war system, it's very simple because it proceeds in three phases. and if you understand these three phases and when they come about, you could easily understand how the civil war proceeds. there are -- there is the first phase called the parole and exchange phase. the second phase known as the cartel phase. and the last phase, the prisoner of war camp phase. and these weren't phases that were described by the people at the time, but phases that historians have delineated since then. now, at the beginning of the war, one of the things that politicians in general did not anticipate were large numbers of prisoners. many thought the war would be over in a short period of time. and it would involve little hardship and little lingering animosity. and whether the nation remained as one or whether it would be split in two during the course of the conflict, neither side initially believed that abusing the other's prisoners would gain
them any long-term goals. and this is a good example of it. this is a photograph taken after the first major land battle of the civil war, the battle of bull run in july of 1861. these are union prisoners of war. they have been taken to a camp outside of charleston, south carolina. and they're awaiting their parole and exchange. that is after they have been taken prisoner, they are going to go home. and so surrendering in the civil war is a fairly easy process. although there are widespread accusations on both sides that people are committing atrocities and executing surrendered prisoners early in the war, that simply does not happen. the prisoners' rights are respected, and they are sent and taken to a prisoner of war camp, taken care of and then after a short period of time, they are sent back to their army back into circulation so they can fight again. and this is kind of a marvelous image here because what do you see but none other than shelves
of liquor. these union soldiers have a very easy life and essentially surrendering early on in the civil war is like being out in a game of tag. you're only out temporarily. and you can go back to rejoin your unit once you have been formally exchanged. so how does this first phase, this parole and exchange system, work? well, it works under the idea that once a prisoner surrenders, he must sign a formal parole. and that is, he will vow not to take up arms against the other nation until he has been properly exchanged. and this is an example of a parole of honor of a union soldier from michigan. and see it's printed on kind of confederate letterhead here. and you can issue these out to the prisoners that you've taken in battle. it says, "when he signs the parole, makes his mark," and vows on his honor he will not
bear arms against the confederate states and not bear garrison duty whatsoever until regularly exchanged. further, "he will not divulge anything relative to the position or condition of any of the forces of the confederate states." so while he's in confederate captivity and if he returns to the union on parole, he cannot tell his superiors what he has seen or what he has done. so how does this system work? how do you get parolees to hold to this promise? what is the foundation of it, do you think? nicole. >> honor. >> honor. that's the number one answer. here at old dominion, we have sort of an honor code. we all regulate the academic integrity of the institution by yourselves. it's the same thing for prisoners of war early in the civil war. they have to regulate this system of those who surrender. they have to hold to this parole. hold to this promise that they are not going to divulge any information.
and some of these individuals take it very seriously. one example i can give you comes from september of 1862. a union colonel named moore is taken by the confederates. he is paroled very quickly because it occurs during the maryland campaign. and moore is given his parole. and he's sent off of this huge oclivity called south mountain. national pike, he bumps into the union army that's pursuing the confederate army. we've discussed the maryland campaign ay thhearmy of the pot had. now all of a sudden they have a union prisoner who is only a few hours removed from being in confederate captivity. and they were begging moore to divulge some information. they said, colonel moore, good to see you. where are the confederates? he said, well, i can't tell you that. well, we're headed up this road a ways, up over south mountain. and moore goes, you are? and the general who questioned him said, oh. what do you mean by that? where are the confederates?
he said, well, i've said too much. and so they were begging, gging information. but he would not. so this system of honor was extremely important. and it was really the thread that held together this first phase of how prisoners were treated. now, another aspect of the parole is what happens once you sign it. now, if you signed a parole as a prisoner of war, you were allowed to go home to sit, continue to receive army pay until you were properly exchanged. and the exchange was done by the respective governments. there would be agents in charge of prisoners of war who would neat and these exchanges ran on rank based on the rank that you held. so if thewenion army, you had e exchanged for a private soldier in the confederate army.xchae w made legal, you would receive
notification to report to your unit within a period of time or else you would be found awol. and there was an elaborate system both sides had to agree to, to make these exchanges. so if you wanted to exchange a captain, you had to have six privates on the other side to make that exchange, or any sort generals ran in the vicinity of about 40 privates. colonels, 15. lieutenant colonels, 10. majors, 8. captains, 6. then on down to one two privates. and making all this work because each side has a different number of prisoners in their possession difficult. so if you were captured in battle and you signed one of these paroles, probably you could expect to sit on your bottom for a long period of time until the government actually got around to exchanging you. because the negotiations could run for weeks, even months.
so we discussed the things that this system ran upon, that it relied upon a mutual agreement on both parties that the system was in existence. and the other thing, it relied on the honor of parolees. now, certainly abuses and problems occurred. and what kind of abuses and problems do you think pervaded this system early on? >> just the fact that maybe people didn't honor the parole, just went out and tried to fight. >> right. because one of the things about this system is there's no police agency to enforce the parole system. so anyone could easily just simply go back and fight. and which of the two sides do you think violated this parole system more often? paul? >> confederacy? >> you said the confederacy. why? >> because they had their southern pride and heritage.
they wanted to fight this war. i guess their motivation, okay, we're free now so let's get back to the fight. >> okay. and it's kind of interesting, you talk about sort of like southern pride and things because when we think of like the stereotypical old south, we think of southern honor. and if you're suggesting that the confederates were the first to violate this parole of honor, it kind of flips our image of the confederacy on its head, does it not? what are some other reasons the confederacy would be the first to try to violate these paroles? >> they had less -- well, they thought they had less fighting men, perhaps. they felt that they needed the intelligence in order to be more on par with the union amount of men. >> right. so one of the issues is, of course, the numbers of men and the confederacy cannot afford to keep, you know, willing men on the home front sitting and waiting out their paroles before they go back into service. any other reasons? let's also sort of think about
the situation the south has to face. you know, let's say katie, for instance, is part of stonewall she's captured at the battle of kernstown in march and then she signs a parole, goes back home to winchester. two months later, what happens but the union army marches into that city. now, she is a paroled prisoner of war. and she is basically obligated to kind of stay out of the action. but yet there are union soldiers in her hometown milling about. how do you think they treat her? >> badly. i an, these union soldiers should treat this prisoner with respect. but they know what she's going to do. when she's finally exchanged, she's going to go back and join stonewall jackson's army. so is she just going to sit there and endure these union soldiers jeering at her, probably stealing all of her personal possessions and her chickens and cows and what have you? no.
she's not going to sit there and take it. she's going to be probably eagerly awaiting the opportunity to rejoin her army, and she'll do it. and since the union army can do nothing to check to see if she's adhering to her parole, she'll do it. so think about this. if she violates her parole and she's captured a few weeks later at one of the other battles in the shenandoah valley and a union soldier captures her, what's she going to do? when she surrenders? >> sign another honor code. >> okay. you'll sign another one. exactly. but are you going to sign the same name? no, you'll just make something up. and does that union soldier have any way of checking your identity? right. think about this. this is the 19th century. we have no driver's license. we have no internet. we have no social security. no soldier's id number. no way to check a person's identity. and consider for the sake of argument that, you know, this union soldier is concerned,
suspects that katie might be a parole violator. does he have this big list in his pocket of people who are on parole from the confederacy? no way the union army can disseminate that information. so quite frankly, she's free to do whatever she wants. and the only possibility that she might have is the rare instance that she's captured twice by the exact same captor, right? i mean, what are the chances of that? >> how would they know if they got exchanged or not, though? already exchanged? >> the prisoner? >> yeah. >> well, you'd be informed by your government. they would send you notice. and then they'd say, you're exchanged. you have such and such a time to report back to your unit. >> i'm not talking about the officer that captured me again if i got captured by the same officer, how would he know if i was exchanged or not? >> they wouldn't. they wouldn't at all. the point is, there are many holes in this operation. and by the second year of the war, they're already starting to shred. both union and confederate
soldiers violate it, the confederates for more practical reasons violate it more often. known as the cartel phase. the negotiations begin in the early part of 1862 when generals from both sides argue that something needs to be done to rectify this situation. and it happens right after the first large-scale surrender of an army. and that is when the confederate army surrenders at ft. donaldson in february. and by july 1862 after the failed peninsula campaign, the system goes into effect. and it will last for about a year. and it's known as the dick's hill cartel because it's named for the two generals who created it. union general john dicks and confederate general d.h. hill. and what this system does is it
modifies the parole system. that now soldiers themselves are not allowed to sign paroles. only the two generals or any of their respective agents can sign paroles and conduct the exchanges. so what this means is that if you surrender as a soldier, whether you're in the union or the confederacy, you will be taken to a prisoner of war camp, held there for a few weeks, and then you'll be sent to an exchange location. in the eastern theater here in virginia, it was at aikens landing on the james river, and in the western theater it was at vicksburg on the mississippi river. and there the physical exchange of prisoners would take place. but the official exchange would take place later when the two cartels had negotiated the release. so where do these union and confederate prisoners go until they are formally exchanged? well, they will go to what are called parole camps. this is an image of the largest parole camp in the eastern theater known as camp parole in annapolis, maryland.
this is a prison camp for union soldiers, but their guards are their own men. they are guarded by union sentries. so it was essentially each side's responsibility to ensure that their own men would not violate their paroles. and the confederacy had several parole camps as well. if any of you are from the annapolis region and you've driven through it, there's a neighborhood there called parole. it is named after this particular camp. now, once again, these parole camps had some problems. they're not fun places. the union soldiers disliked the fact they would be treated as prisoners within their own state. they were guarded by their own men. they were often guarded by what was known as the invalid corps, wounded soldiers on light duty. those parolees would not leave. they could ask for permission to go into the city and visit annapolis. but passports were issued at a limited rate. they were fed. they were not abused. and they had some freedoms until
they were formally exchanged. but this freedom was limited. now, imagine, again, this position. you're a union soldier and you've been taken to camp parole. how are you feeling about this? you want out. and do you think the guards are going to let you out? >> they might. >> they might. under what conditions might they let you out? >> bribery. >> bribery. right? because these aren't confederate guards we're talking about. these are your own men. what are some other conditions you could use to get out of prison? paul? or josh? >> if there was like a big battle or something and they don't have enough soldiers to fight or they need extra, the general would say send them? >> exactly. this phase occurs during one of the darkest times for the union army when in 1863, consider you're a union prisoner and you've been taken at chancellorsville. you're sent to annapolis, and
then all of a sudden you learn that the confederate army is invading pennsylvania. things look really dire. and you can go to the guard and say hey, i want to rejoin my unit. let me out of here. is that guard going to say no? if he's sympathetic to the union cause, he's probably not. he's going to turn his back and let you slip out. so the guards themselves violate the second phase, the cartel phase. generals as well also violate it. one of the biggest abusers of the cartel system was robert e. lee. lee hated taking care of union prisoners. this was especially clear during the gettysburg campaign when his army invaded pennsylvania, he was defeated. and then he had to retreat back to virginia with nearly 5,000 prisoners. and what did lee think of these 5,000 prisoners? did he want them as part of his army? not if he is trying to get back to virginia. they are a detriment to his campaign. and immediately after he takes them prisoner on july 6th, 1863, he offers them the opportunity to sign a parole.
and if you're a union prisoner, you're in lee's possession, you have one of two options. you can keep to your official duty, march 200 miles back to virginia, go into a prisoner of war camp and wait to be physically handed back to your authorities, or you can immediately sign this parole, go back and rejoin your friends who are coming to get you who are probably only a few miles away, but you, of course, violate your obligation as a union soldier. which of those two are you going to do? >> go back to the army? >> you would like to go back to the army, right? so you'd like to rejoin your comrades. would some of them have qualms about this? yeah. if honor is important to you, you're going to tell lee that he's got to go away, and he has to honor this system that's in place. and the troublesome thing for
these union soldiers was that there was a union general who was captured along with them. they were debating among because a lot of them wanted to go back home immediately. but the general named general graham said, you can't do that, men. you are union soldiers. and you are obligated not to accept the parole under this system. and it essentially created a riot among the union prisoners. squ riot among the union prisoners while lee is trying to take them back down to virginia because they didn't know which of those decisions they should adhere to. it was easy for the general, general graham, he's a general, he'll be exchanged right quick. but if you were a private, you could expect to be in confederate captivity for some time. another important issue involving the cartel phase was the question of african-american prisoners. because they would never be exchanged under confederate opinion. in late 1862, southern commanders vowed to return all black prisoners taken in battle
to a state of slavery. whether they had been freed before the civil war or not. and confederate generals even vowed to execute white officers who commanded united states colored troop regiments under criminal law. and many southern states had laws in it that said that leading a slave rebellion was punishable by death. and to them, being a commander, a white commander in a black regiment, was akin to leading a slave rebellion. under state law they could be executed. in may of 1863, the confederate congress upheld this popular opinion by passing a joint resolution calling for the execution of white officers in the immediate enslavement of black soldiers. now, the u.s. war department, when it heard this announcement, decided what it would do was issue an order of retaliation. that is, it would execute captured confederate officers, one for each white colored troop officer executed and enslave one white confederate prisoner, one
for each black usct soldier thus enslaved. and in july of 1863 was the first test case whether the u.s. government would uphold this promise. that month in north carolina, a captured usct soldier was executed by confederate authorities and a regimental commander, the commander of the soldier who was executed decided he was going to put to death one confederate soldier which he did. and after the execution of this confederate soldier, jefferson davis called off the execution order issued by the confederate congress. commanders not to execute or enslave usct soldiers. so there was the hint that there might be an eye for an eye warfare because of the capture of black soldiers. but although it looked like there would be both sides showed
restraint. now, these problems eventually bring thanckthe final nail in tn is in april 1864 when a confederate force under general national bedford forrest, pictured here, sur rounded a union garrison at fort pillow, tennessee on the mississippi river. when the garrison tried to surrender, his soldiers broke into a frenzy, killing those who threw up their arms. because the garrison was a mix of white and black soldiers. and it's not exactly clear how many soldiers at this garrison were killed when they tried to surrender, but a massacre definitely occurred. and about 170 african-american soldiers, it is believed, were killed in the act of surrendering. so when this news reached the war department later on that month, general ulysses grant who is now the general in chief of all union forces, remember, this is right before he will embark on his overland campaign, makes the decision to en